A sculpture of the Airbnb logo in the company's headquarters in San Francisco
Toronto City Council has passed new rules to crack down on short-term rental services such as Airbnb that will restrict listings to principal residences and ban homeowners from listing secondary suites such as basement apartments.
The basement-apartment issue dominated what snowballed into a daylong debate at city hall. Banning them from short-term rentals was meant to preserve scarcely affordable units for Toronto's ultratight long-term rental market, which has a vacancy rate of less than 1 percent.
"I think the city has acknowledged that short-term rentals have a place in this city, but we have balanced that out with the housing situation that we currently have," said deputy mayor Ana Bailao, the west-end city councillor who acts as the city's housing advocate and who championed the move to ban listing secondary suites.
Airbnb Canada spokeswoman Alex Dagg said the company could live with the new rules and would help to educate its hosts about the city's new regulations.
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